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Sewer Definitions

Wastewater (AKA Sewer)

Basically used water. All of the water that goes down the drains after washing dishes, laundry, bathing, flushing the toilet, etc.

ERU

Equivalent Residential Unit, how we measure usage, like a kilowatt with power and BTU with gas

Main sewer line

AKA transmission line that transports wastewater from properties to wastewater treatment plants

Lateral

A sewer lateral, also known as a service line, is the underground pipe that connects a residence or business to a main sewer line, and it is typically owned by the property owner. It will either be a gravity lateral if there is a gravity main sewer system on the main road or a pressurized lateral if there is a pressurized sewer system there.

Right of way (property)

The legal right of passage over another person’s ground

a: the area over which a right-of-way exists

b: the strip of land over which is built a public road

c: the land occupied by a railroad especially for its main line

d: the land used by a public utility (as for a transmission line)

Tap

The connection between a lateral and the main sewer line.

 

 

Manhole

A small covered opening in a floor, pavement, or other surfaces to allow a person to enter, especially an opening in a city street leading to a sewer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleanout

The sewer clean out is a pipe with a cap that provides access to the sewer line so that blockages can be removed.

The sewer clean out is usually located somewhere along the lateral sewer line. If you have a clog in the lateral sewer line or your sewer clean out needs to be emptied, the responsibility and cost for doing so is up to the property owner.

 

 

Wastewater treatment plant

A facility including pumps and equipment for pumping fluids from one place to another and the removal of sewage to wastewater treatment plants. BCSS currently owns and maintains 146 lift stations throughout Baldwin County.

A facility in which physical, chemical, and biological processes are used to remove pollutants from wastewater before discharging it into a water body or groundwater.

Wastewater treatment

The process of cleaning or disinfecting the sewage received at a wastewater treatment plant to the point where it meets guidelines to return it to the environment through groundwater or a waterway. Wastewater is usually treated by an ultraviolet system or chlorine

Grinder pump

With wastewater utilities throughout the county there are gravity sewer systems and pressure sewer systems. Some areas aren’t suitable for gravity sewer systems, so a low-pressure sewer system is implemented. The choice is usually made when roads and subdivisions are developed, and then the utilities provide service and typically maintain the main sewer system infrastructures. When low-pressure sewer systems are installed, each home or building that is connected within that service territory requires a grinder pump and pressure pushing wastewater to the main line, even if the land from home/building to main road slopes downward.

Lift station

A larger grinder pump station that pumps wastewater along transmission lines or pushes wastewater from a large building or development to a transmission line

ERU

A standard of measure in the Wastewater Industry much the same as a kilowatt hour and the British Thermal Units are in the electricity and gas industries, respectively. “Equivalent residential unit” or “ERU” means a unit of wastewater which incurs the same costs for operation and maintenance as the average volume of domestic wastes discharged from a single-family residence in the treatment works service area.

Tap Fee

A two (2) part system of assessing a property owner’s cost to tap into existing utility system. The tap fee includes:

  1. The cost of reserving capacity at the wastewater treatment plant based on the predicted amount of wastewater volume that will be used in terms of ERUs.
  2. The cost of the sewer tap and the servicemen physically tapping into the main sewer line.

Impact Fee

The cost to cover the impact that the applicant’s proposed project will impact the collection and transmission system. The more growth that occurs and adds to the current sewer system infrastructure, the more improvements, upgrades and maintenance must be invested in the system. Impact fees contribute to capital expenses to maintain the system, such as pipes, lift stations, planning for an additional wastewater treatment plant, etc.

Treatment Fee

The cost of transporting all of the wastewater to the nearest wastewater treatment plant, treating it to meet strict Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) standards, and returning the cleaned water to the environment.

Check out the ACF Sewer 101 Prezi

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